Madame Palatine’s Burn Book, Part 2

Bonjour! If you haven’t yet read Part 1, start there for the full scoop on Liselotte and her clique. Last time, we patiently listened, er, read as Madame Palatine, aka Liselotte, vented in her 18th-century correspondence about her daddy issues, disobedient son and cringeworthy views on women in power. With all those grudges, how did Read More

Madame Palatine’s Burn Book, Part 1

She is a wicked devil; treacherous in every way, and of a very dangerous temper. Upon the whole, she is not good for much. – Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d’Orléans, Memoirs of the Court of Louis XIV and of the Regency, 1899 If you enjoyed the movie “Mean Girls” as much as teenage me did, allow me Read More

A Sampler of Courage, Part 3

Before reading, fortify yourself with Part 1 and Part 2. Already read them? En garde! After three free samples, if you don’t buy something, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. . . . Just kidding. According to my website stats, you’re the only ones here. Don’t move a muscle unless you’re scrolling Read More

Blabbing with a Buccaneer, Part Two

Ahoy, mateys! Welcome to the second and final chapter of my imagined interview with an unsung pirate of the Caribbean, Laurens Cornelis Boudewijn de Graaf. If you’re just coming onboard, be sure to catch up on Part One. Welcome back, Captain de Graaf. You were just telling us what self-aggrandizing feat you performed after tracking Read More

Blabbing with a Buccaneer, Part One

Like many women—and men, too—on occasion, I’ve fallen prey to the charms of an archetypical “bad boy.” What can I say? A few tattoos, a motorcycle and a hint of an attitude problem make for an inexplicably attractive combination. Swashbuckling pirates might just be the original bad boys: They seek out adventure and danger, they Read More

Beginner’s Guide to Travel Writing

In her nearly 15 years crisscrossing England on horseback, Celia had survived roadside accidents, lousy weather and overpriced meals at the 17th-century version of a tourist trap—but highway men were a first. A few miles outside the town of Whitchurch in Shropshire, two men had burst from the dense woods and onto the road. Judging Read More